Outdoor dog kennels allow our pets to enjoy fresh air and exercise and a safe place to shelter from inclement weather - that's got to be much better than being cooped up inside all day! Learn what to look for when buying your Cocker's first kennel and where you can buy one for the cheapest possible price.
If your yard or garden is enclosed and totally 'dog-proof' your Cocker Spaniel may be left outdoors to play and exercise freely and safely and his kennel will offer him somewhere safe to retreat to when he's tired.
Dog kennels (also known as dog houses) are designed for use outdoors and should be well-insulated to protect your dog and keep him warm in winter and cool in the summertime.
When you're ready to choose your dog's kennel, don't just buy the first thing you see - give it a little thought first, for example:
Dog kennels come in many different shapes and sizes ranging from the traditional to those customized to match the family home, complete with windows and realistic-looking brick work!
They're built using many different materials, but wood and plastic are the more common. Prices range from being reasonably priced to very expensive.
Personally, I believe kennels made from wood are better as they tend to blend in more naturally with their surroundings.
Dog kennels with a pitched roof can look cute, but the underside of the roof is a perfect home for a wasps nests.
Instead, you might like to choose a kennel
that has a flat roof, but with a slight pitch to allow rainwater to run
off easily. You don't want the water to 'puddle' on the roof.
Wood is a good insulator, but depending upon your local climate you may need to add a little insulation to your Cocker's kennel to help keep it warm.
Wooden houses are more difficult to clean than the plastic as dirt and bacteria become ingrained in the wood, making them difficult to remove.
If you paint the inside of a wooden house it will help to make it much easier to keep clean.
If you prefer not to paint it, you could simply treat the wood instead, but make sure the treatment used is safe for pets.
Cedar wood doesn't rot easily and it's also a natural insect repellent (including fleas!).
Alternatively, cedar chips are available to buy and
can be scattered in the bottom of the kennel, but the chips need to be
replenished every now and then to keep things fresh.
Plastic kennels are usually cast in a single mold using PVC which makes them reasonably strong and watertight.
They're easy to keep clean and sterile and they won't rot - meaning they last a lot longer than the wooden ones.
However, not all plastic houses are molded. Some are made up of panels and are often delivered in flat-pack form, ready for self-assembly at home. These may not be waterproof so I recommend you check the manufacturer's claim before buying.
Some manufacturers use double-layered panels when constructing their plastic kennels which can result in a much warmer product; however, on the down side, they can get too hot in summer.
Plastic houses come in many different colors and styles; castles, Wendy houses, and you can even buy a replica of your own home - complete with white picket fence if you wish!
The size of dog kennel you choose will depend on your Spaniel's size. It should allow plenty of room for your pet to stand, sit, turn around comfortably, lie down and stretch out fully.
To make sure you buy the right size for your dog, measure him from the tip of his nose to the base of his tail and then add 30 cm (12") - that should give him the space he needs to stretch and be comfortable.
If you're buying a kennel for your puppy, it's best to select one to suit the size he'll eventually grow to as an adult but if you're to avoid him using one end as a sleeping area and the other as a toilet, you'll need to section off the kennel with cardboard so that it 'fits' your puppy.
As he grows you can gradually increase the size of his living space by moving the cardboard before eventually removing it altogether.
If you're on a limited budget you can still find good quality, cheap kennels - you just need know where to look!
There are plenty of cheap dog kennels for sale - you just have to look in the right places!
Spend a few minutes surfing the internet and it won't be long before you find a decent selection of good quality kennels at reasonable prices. You need to be careful though because some of the cheaper ones are often made with inferior materials and may not be as strong as you'd like them to be.
E-bay and Amazon (and local on-line classifieds) are great places to
find most things these days but like everything else you need to do your
homework before you buy.
Dog kennels don't have to be expensive especially if you're handy with a hammer and a few nails so if you're suitably skilled in the DIY department why not build your own?
If you're happy with a second-hand kennel, you might want to keep a
watchful eye on the 'classified ads' section of your local newspaper, or
public notice boards in your local library or council offices.
Check notice boards in your local vets, church, recreation halls, etc. anywhere where people gather.
Some of the larger supermarkets often have a notice board where you can place an advert for free - why not advertise for one?
Find a local handyman and ask him to quote you a price - you never know, it still might work out cheaper than buying a ready made kennel!
Speak to as many people as you can - friends and family, other dog walkers, or your local veterinary surgery - someone, somewhere, may have an unwanted dog kennel either for sale, or even better, free to a good home!
When you've found your ideal kennel here's a few handy tips to help you out:
Good luck, I hope you find exactly what you're looking for, and at the right price, and more importantly. I hope your Cocker loves his new outdoor dog kennel!
Dog Runs are an excellent source of exercise if you can't walk your dog for a day or two.
Learn how to build your own dog run and let your Cocker get some real exercise in the yard.